Cisco offers a comprehensive line of wireless LAN devices and technologies that provide anywhere, anytime access to data and resources and to facilitate collaboration among workers, associates, vendors, and clients. Cisco's wireless products include Cisco's Small Business, Aironet and Meraki series of access points (APs), plus Cisco's Wireless Network Controller modules and standalone devices. Progent's Cisco-certified wireless consultants can help organizations of all sizes to utilize Cisco wireless solutions to accommodate the new model of Bring-Your-Own-Device networks by converging their wired/wireless environments to benefit from simplified configuration, predictable throughput, centralized control, uniform policy enforcement, fault tolerance, and advanced security.
Cisco Converged Architecture for Bring-Your-Own-Device and Wired/Wireless Access
The Cisco Unified Wireless solution can expand to up to 18,000 APs with full Layer 3 connectivity across local or remote venues such as enterprise headquarters, college auditoriums, branch offices, and home offices. Cisco's Wi-Fi wireless access points and controllers are part of Cisco's Unified Wireless Network and are engineered to deliver the same level of protection, performance, and manageability for wireless networks that businesses expect in their wired ecosystem. Cisco's architecture incorporates built-in mobile services like VoIP, IP video, and secure guest access. Cisco's Unified Wireless technology enables organizations to build wireless ecosystems that improve the way they work and improve productivity through a dynamic and collaborative employee base.
Progent's Cisco CCIE network infrastructure consultants can provide online or on-premises expertise to assist you to design, configure, manage, upgrade, and repair converged wired/wireless networks of all sizes and for any venue. In addition, Progent offers value-priced remote and on-premises wireless site surveys to assist your company to plan and deploy a wireless network with custom-designed access point clustering optimized for your specific work area layout, building characteristics, and application workloads.
Cisco Small Business, Aironet, Meraki and Catalyst Wireless Access Points (APs)
Cisco's Small Business, Aironet, Meraki and Catalyst families of APs enable organizations to integrate wired/wireless networks to provide the coverage, capacity, throughput, security compliance and manageability needed to support virtually any environment. Cisco's access points start at bare bones, single-radio 802.11b/g/n devices with throughput of 300 Mbps designed for small companies or home offices to 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) access points suitable for supporting hundreds of wireless clients on each access point and offering throughput of more than 5 Gigabits per second. Cisco's latest selection of APs can be combined or clustered to provide the scale to support wireless networks crowded with clients and with a high incidence of HD video applications.
Small Business 100, 300 and 500 Family of Access Points
Cisco's Small Business Series of wireless access points are Linux-powered devices engineered as value-priced Wi-Fi APs for light workloads. Most versions in the Cisco Small Business line of APs work with Cisco's Single Point Setup technology, which allows you to configure, manage and troubleshoot a cluster of access points from one AP through an intuitive browser-based interface. All models support POE and feature QoS, rogue AP detection, and bridge mode for wirelessly connecting to a second network.
The Cisco Small Business WAP121 AP is a wall-mountable, single-radio 2.4GHz unit that can handle 16 802.11n clients, has a 10/100 Ethernet port, allows up to 4 access pointss and 40 wireless clients per cluster, and can handle throughput of up to 300 Mbps. Cisco's Small Business WAP131 is a desktop dual-band 2.4/5 GHz 802.11n wireless access point able to handle 16 wireless clients per radio for a total of up to 32 wireless clients, includes a GE LAN interface, and delivers sustained data rates of up to 300 Mbps per radio. The WAP131 Wireless-N does not support clustering. The Cisco WAP150 is a value-priced dual-radio 802.11ac/n wireless access point that includes a 1xGE Power over Ethernet port and can handle up to 16 clients from each radio with 867 Mbps performance for AC clients and 300 Mbps for 802.11n devices. The Cisco WAP1501 supports four access points per cluster.
Cisco's Small Business WAP321 Wireless-N Access Point is a wallmount selectable-band (2.4 or 5 GHz) 802.11n unit that can handle up to 80 active wireless clients in an 8-device cluster. The WAP321 has a Gigabit Ethernet interface and can deliver throughput of 300 Mbps for the activated radio. The Cisco WAP351 is a dual-radio 2.4/5 GHz 802.11n access point that includes a 5-port Gigabit Ethernet switch and can handle 32 active clients on each radio for up to 64 clients, and support sustained throughput of 300 Mbps per radio. The WAP351 AP does not support clustering. The Cisco WAP361 is a dual-radio Wireless-AC/N access point that includes a 5 x Gb Ethernet switch, allows 32 clients per radio, and offers 867 Mbps performance for wireless AC clients and 300 Mbps for 802.11n devices. The Cisco Small Business WAP361 supports eight WAP361 access points per cluster. Cisco's wall-mountable Small Business WAP371 Wireless-AC/N is a dual-band device that supports 802.11n as well as the new 802.11ac wireless networking standard. The WAP371 includes a GE interface, can handle 32 wireless clients on each radio, and eight APs for each cluster.
The Cisco Small Business WAP561 802.11n Dual Radio AP includes one GE interface and two radios (2.4 and 5.0 GHz) that deliver 450 Mbps performance for each radio, support 64 clients per radio, and allow 16 APs per cluster. Cisco's WAP551 is like the WAP 561 but has a single radio selectable band (2.4 or 5.0 GHz). The Cisco WAP571 and WAP571E (a weather-proof outdoor version) are dual-band 2.4/5 GHz 802.11ac Wave 1 APs that feature two Gb Ethernet ports with link aggregation, and as high as 1.9 Gigabit/sec performance with 1300 Mbps over 11ac and 600 Mbps on 11n. Both devices support 32 active WAN clients per radio and 16 access points per cluster.
The Cisco Small Business WAP581 Wireless-AC Dual Radio Wave 2 Wireless Access Point supports the 802.11ac standard and features 4x4 and 3x3 MU-MIMO to provide 2.8 Gbps throughput on the 5.0-Ghz radio and 0.6 Gbps on the 2.4-GHz radio for an aggregate top throughput of 2.4 Gbps. The WAP581 has an integrated 2.5G Ethernet port and a 10/100/1000 Ethernet LAN interface with 802.3at Power over Ethernet. Cisco's WAP581 Wave 2 Wi-Fi 5 access point can handle as many as 200 connective users, a maximum of 50 active users for each radio, 16 access points per cluster, and 960 active users per cluster.
To find out more about Progent's consulting services for current and legacy Cisco Small Business 100, 300 and 500 family of WiFi APs, refer to Cisco Small Business WiFi access points consulting.
The Aironet Line of Access Points
Cisco's Aironet family of wireless access points has for years been the market leading AP solution. Aironet APs run the gamut from value priced devices to enterprise-class APs. Cisco's Aironet series cover multiple generations of models compliant with the evolving 802.11x Wi-Fi specification. The current line of Aironet APs work with Cisco's Unified Wireless Network architecture and include 802.11ac support, which offers triple the speed plus greater range and density than the prior generation of devices. The current multi-band Aironet APs can accommodate 802.11n at 2.4 GHz for client devices that do not have 802.11ac capability.
The earliest Aironet APs are outdated units that have reached end-of-sale status and are no longer supported by Cisco. Progent continues to provide technical support for the entire Aironet line of wireless access points and can help you to manage and troubleshoot your current Aironet wireless system or move cost effectively to the latest Aironet products. To find out more about Progent's support for both current and legacy Cisco Aironet access points, see Cisco Aironet access points consulting services.
Cisco's Meraki Wireless Access Points
Cisco's portfolio of Meraki dual-band indoor access points range from budget-friendly models for small businesses to advanced units that offer up to 5.9 Gigabit per second throughput. Each Cisco Meraki indoor wireless access point offers next-generation features such as self-configuring deployment, advanced security, BYOD support, built-in analytics, automatic web-based updates, and centralized cloud-based management via an intuitive dashboard. Every Meraki indoor AP also incorporates two powerful radios with boosted receive sensitivity plus a dedicated radio that offers intrusion detection and prevention system (WIDS/WIPS) security for RF analysis and deep packet inspection.
Meraki outdoor wireless access points are IP67 rated, designed to operate in harsh outdoor conditions, and tested to resist dust particles, vibration and humidity. Cisco's Meraki outdoor wireless access points include a 1 x Gbit Ethernet port and deliver advanced capabilities such as cloud-based management with multi-site visibility and control, 802.1X and native Active Directory integration, built-in antivirus scan, 1-click secure guest access and guest isolation firewall, application-aware traffic shaping, plus self-configuring mesh with beamforming. For more information about Progent's consulting services for Meraki access points and cloud management, see Meraki APs consulting.
Cisco's Catalyst 9100 Line of Wi-Fi 6 and W-Fi 6E Access Points
Cisco's Catalyst 9100 Series 802.11ax wireless APs are intended for environments ranging from telecommuter homes to high-density stadiums. Cisco Catalyst 9100 access points are based on the 802.11ax specification, referred to as Wi-Fi 6, which in turn builds on the previous 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) standard. As an improvement to 802.11ac, Wi-Fi 6 is able to utilize both the 2.4-Ghz and 5-GHz bands. Headline enhancements incorporated in Cisco Catalyst 9100 Series APs include OFDMA scheduling for high density deployments, dual NAVs for better reliability, Target Wake Time for reduced power usage in battery-powered endpoints, adaptive power and sensitivity thresholds for better spectrum utilization, and extended guard intervals for improved outdoor performance. Cisco Catalyst 9100 Wi-Fi 6 APs support Cisco's Embedded Wireless Controller, accommodate as many as 400 clients per radio, and are powered by Cisco IOS XE Software.
Cisco's Catalyst 916x Series Wi-Fi 6E APs are the first Cisco access points to offer the option of being managed on-premises with Cisco DNA Center or from the cloud by deploying Meraki management utilities. This enables businesses to transition to cloud-based or hybrid management environments on their own timetable. All Cisco's Catalyst 916x APs comply with the a/b/g/n/ac/ax and 6E wireless standards and include support for the 6-GHz band. Each AP includes 5 radios and allows up to 400 clients per radio. Each model also features a dedicated radio for Cisco CleanAir Pro for mitigating interference, includes a USB 2.0 port, and offers Bluetooth BLE. The entry-level Catalyst 9162 Series access point is suited for small organizations, has three 2x2 radios, and includes 1x 100M/1000M/2.5G mGig Ethernet support. Cisco's Catalyst 9164 Series access point is designed for small and middle-size organizations, has one 2x2 radio and two 4x4 radios, and offers 1x 100M/1000M/2.5G mGig Ethernet support. The Catalyst 9166 Series access point is meant for large and mid-sized enterprises, has three 4x4 radios, and features 1x 100M/1000M/2.5G/5G mGig Ethernet support. The 9166 also has environmental sensors that track air quality, temperature, and moisture. For more information about Progent's consulting services for Catalyst 9100 Line of Wi-Fi 6/6E APs, refer to Wireless APs system design, deployment, and debugging consulting.
Cisco 9800 Series 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 9800 family of Wi-Fi 6-compatible wireless LAN controller appliances allow you to manage advanced wireless environments that incorporate 802.11ax APs. 802.11ax, also called Wi-Fi 6, builds on prior generation 802.11ac (referred to as Wi-Fi 5) appliances by providing lower latency and more reliable performance, allowing higher client density, providing enhanced protection, saving energy for battery-dependent mobile devices, and offering more flexibility for handling the latest kinds of Internet-of-Things endpoints. Catalyst 9800 line wireless controllers include high availability with transparent software updates, live fixes, and the ability to connect additional Wi-Fi access points without disruption of service. Advanced security technologies include Encrypted Traffic Analytics (ETA), secure boot, and Cisco Software-Defined Access (SD-Access). Streaming telemetry permits you to track and analyze network and endpoint health.
All devices in the Catalyst 9800 family are powered by Cisco's IOS XE Software and work with Cisco's DNA Center (DNAC) or with Cisco Prime Infrastructure management platforms. Catalyst 9800 wireless LAN controllers can manage Cisco Aironet 802.11ac Wave 1 and Wave 2 access points as well as Cisco Catalyst 9100 802.11ax APs. To learn more about Progent's support for Cisco 9800 line of 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers, refer to Catalyst 9800 family of Wi-Fi 6 wireless controller appliances system planning, deployment, and management services.
Cisco Wi-Fi 5 Wireless Network Controllers
Cisco Wave 2 wireless controllers enable fast data exchange, deployment, management, analysis and debugging for Cisco wireless appliances and software services. Cisco has developed both physical and software-based wireless controllers for centralized administration of wireless environments, but systems with many Wi-Fi APs are better served by hardware-based Wi-Fi controllers. Wave 2 wireless controller devices from Cisco deliver major benefits over Wave 1 and older products including higher throughput, concurrent support for 1G and 10G interfaces, enhanced application visibility and control, and hardened, integrated protection.
The Cisco 3504 Wireless Controller is an entry-level device with a desktop enclosure and intended for small and medium-sized organizations. You can install the 3504 in a centralized WLAN environment such as in lean branch and remote offices administered over the wide-area network via FlexConnect, or in bridge deployments where Ethernet cabling is sparse. The 3504 Wi-Fi controller supports as many as 150 wireless APs and 3,000 clients, offers 4 Gbps performance, and supports 4,096 VLANs. Cisco's 3504 WiFi controller features a Cisco Multigigabit interface (up to 5 Gigabit Ethernet) and four 1-GB Ethernet interfaces. APs can be attached to the controller through two PoE ports. The 3504 Wi-Fi controller offers fast failover for APs and users, which provides high availability for apps. As with other current Wave 2 Wi-Fi controllers from Cisco, the 3504 model has the built-in capability to work with Cisco Prime Infrastructure, Cisco Mobility Services Engine, and Cisco 5520 and 8540 wireless controllers.
Cisco's 5520 WiFi Controller, offered in a 1RU form factor, is intended to support larger organizations and campus networks and can be used in centralized, distributed, and mesh architectures. The 5520 Wi-Fi controller can handle up to 1,500 Wi-Fi access points and 20,000 users, offers 20 Gbps performance, and supports 4,096 VLANs. The 5520 wireless controller features two 10 GE ports and features SSD storage, redundant fans, optional redundant power supplies, and subsecond failover for nonstop availability.
The Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller, offered in a 2 rack unit form factor, is a top-of-the-line WiFi controller intended to support large enterprises, service providers, and large campuses. The 8540 WiFi controller can be used in centralized, distributed, and mesh deployments and supports up to 6,000 APs and 64,000 users. The 8540 WiFi controller offers data rates as high as 40 Gbps and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. The 8540 controller includes four 1-GB or 10GE interfaces and features SSD storage, backup power supplies, backup fans, and subsecond failover.
Wave 1 Cisco WiFi Network Controllers
Cisco wireless controllers cut the effort and expense required to deploy, manage, and troubleshoot wireless networks by offering single-point control of critical functions such as provisioning wireless access points, enforcing single-point policies across converged wired and wireless LANs, supporting enterprise-wide Quality of Service (QoS) for voice and HD video, monitoring and troubleshooting network health, implementing security tools to defend against unauthorized access and Distributed Denial of Service attacks, and managing IPv6 clients. Cisco has designed wireless LAN controllers for businesses of all sizes and can provide desktop or rackmount controllers, modular plug-in controllers for Cisco ISR routers and Catalyst switches, and Catalyst switches with built-in wireless network controllers.
Cisco's Wave 1 wireless network controllers incorporate Cisco CleanAir technology to minimize RF interference and create self-healing and self-optimizing wireless LANs for top 802.11n and 802.11ac throughput and protection. Integrated Bonjour Gateways permit discovery and policy across the enterprise for Apple applications. For high availability, Cisco wireless controllers allow access point and client stateful failover by permitting a backup high-availability controller to synch with a primary controller for AP license count, CAPWAP keys, and AP CAPWAP state. If the main wireless controller fails, thousands of wireless access points and wireless clients can failover in less than a second to the secondary wireless LAN controller.
Cisco's Wireless Controller Module for ISR Routers with UCS-E offers entry-level 802.11n and 802.11ac capability for Cisco 2900 and 3900 routers deployed by small to medium-sized organizations and satellite offices. This value-priced and expandable solution can support from five to 200 access points and up to 6000 clients. (To find out about Progent's online and on-premises consulting and troubleshooting support for Cisco routers, refer to Cisco router configuration and management consulting.)
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series are 1RU switches intended for small to mid-size businesses and branches and features a built-in wireless LAN controller with the ability to support 40 Gb of wireless throughput for each switch and 25 access points and 1000 clients per switch or stack. Catalyst 3850 Series are 1RU rackmount switches intended for midsize businesses and large enterprises and include an integrated wireless LAN controller supporting up to 40 Gb of wireless capacity on each switch and the ability to handle 50 access points and up to 2000 clients. The Wireless Services Module2 is a plug-in blade for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches with an integrated wireless LAN controller intended for mid-to-large size businesses and able to deliver 20 Gbps throughput and with support for up to 1000 access points and as many as 15,000 clients. (To find out about Progent's support for Catalyst switches, refer to Cisco switches configuration and troubleshooting support.)
Cisco 2500 Series Wireless Controllers are value-priced desktop units that simplify the deployment and management of wireless LANs for SMBs and branch offices. The Cisco 2500 wireless controller supports 5 to 75 access points and up to 1000 wireless clients and can deliver sustained performance of up to 1 Gbps.
The Cisco 5500 Series Wireless Controller is a scalable 1RU unit designed for mid-to-large sized organizations and campus environments and can manage 500 access points and 7,000 clients while delivering 8 Gbps performance. Cisco's 5760 Wireless Controller is a 1RU device designed for mid-to-large campuses with support for up to 1000 APs and 12,000 clients and offering throughput of 60 Gbps to accommodate high wireless client densities and high amounts of video-intensive mobile applications.
Cisco's Flex 7500 Wireless Controller is designed to manage thousands of wireless branches from a single location, avoiding the need for a Wi-Fi controller at every branch. The 1RU rackmount Flex 7500 appliance allows you to build a private cloud to deploy, monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot up to 6000 access points and up to 64,000 wireless clients while handling 1 Gbps throughput. The Cisco 8500 Series Wireless Controller is a 1RU rackmount appliance engineered to monitor and control wireless networks for large campuses or service providers and can scale to support 6000 access points and 64,000 wireless clients while delivering 10 Gbps throughput.
For more information about Cisco wireless controllers, visit Cisco wireless controllers consulting services.
Legacy Cisco Access Points, Bridges and Wi-Fi Controllers Supported by Progent
The IEEE 802.11ac standard for wireless connectivity largely made obsolete the earlier generations of Wi-Fi devices for venues that support high numbers of clients and high usage of HD video software applications. Even for businesses who do not currently require the bandwidth efficiency of 802.11ac, a large number of Cisco wireless devices have arrived at end-of-sale or end-of-support status, which can represent significant maintenance and compliance issues. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants offer online and on-premises support services for a broad array of older-generation wireless products from Cisco. Progent can also help companies to evaluate the business case for upgrading legacy wireless infrastructure and can help in planning and executing cost-effective, seamless upgrades. The following are a sample of Cisco older-generation wireless products that Progent's consulting experts continue to support.
Legacy Cisco Aironet Wireless Access Points
Cisco Aironet 1000/1130AG family access points are designed for offices and other sites which have little environmental instability. These products have built-in antennas that offer predictable radio coverage profiles. The Cisco 1130G Series device is available for regulated domains that do not allow 802.11a operation.
Cisco Aironet 1230AG/1240AG Series wireless access points are designed for more challenging radio frequency situations like factories and warehouses or above ceiling structures which typically require adjustable protruding antennas and ruggedized cases. The Cisco Aironet 1240G family device is designed for controlled locations that do not permit 5GHz operation.
Cisco Aironet 1500 family lightweight outside wireless mesh LAN access points deliver an economical, expandable, protected outdoor Wi-Fi mechanism for campus areas and for public sites that require access for portable devices.
Legacy Cisco Wireless Bridges
Cisco wireless LAN bridges provide a high-throughput and multi-featured technology for integrating numerous local area networks in a metropolitan area or public access environment. Cisco Aironet wireless bridges provide a flexible, manageable solution that meets the security demands of public networking professionals. These devices support both PTP and point-to-multipoint deployments with excellent coverage and the ability to handle traffic throughput as high as 54 Mbps.
Cisco wireless LAN bridges deliver data rates dramatically higher than E1/T1 links for a fraction of the cost, eliminating the need for costly leased lines when connecting separate buildings. Since wireless bridges require no ongoing costs, the expenses saved on leased-line services quickly cover the startup hardware costs. Self-installed private lines and in some cases leased lines utilizing metal or optical cable can require considerable startup expenses when they are impeded by obstacles such as highways, railroads, or bodies of water. Cisco wireless LAN bridges can be installed rapidly an offer a fast return on investment.
Aironet 1300 family outside wireless access points/bridges can be implemented as stand-alone access points, wireless bridges, or workgroup bridges. These appliances have a durable cover and provide high-speed, economical wireless connectivity between numerous stationary or mobile networks and users.
Aironet 1400 bridges provide high-speed, reliable outside connections for line-of-sight applications. These devices are housed in a durable cover that can withstand severe outside conditions and can operate in wide temperature ranges.
Legacy Cisco Wireless Network Controllers
Cisco Wireless Controllers centralize the management of wireless LANs by simplifying the handling of common technologies such as integrated intrusion prevention system (IPS), fast RF management, zero touch deployment, and full N+1 redundancy. These controllers operate with small wireless access points to offer superior throughput and advanced management functions.
Wireless LAN Controllers provide the manageability, scalability, security, and dependability that IT managers require to create safe, enterprise-scale wireless networks, from satellite offices to small businesses to main campuses. Cisco's legacy WLCs can be clustered to provide accommodation for up to 2400 wireless access points for each roaming domain.
The Cisco WLCM or WLCM-E Module for Integrated Services Routers provides small-to mid-size businesses and enterprises an economical way to implement and manage protected wireless LANs at branch locations. These controllers manage up to a dozen Cisco wireless access points and are installable in 2800/3800 Series Integrated Services Routers and 3700 Series Routers. (For information concerning Progent's online and onsite support for Cisco routers, see Cisco router configuration and troubleshooting consulting.)
How Progent's Engineers Can Help Your Company with Cisco Wireless Devices
Progent can provide a Cisco-certified expert to assist you to plan, deploy, manage and troubleshoot a converged wired/wireless environment incorporating a wide array of wireless products that provide the same security, scalability, and ease of management you expect from a wired network. Progent can assist you to manage legacy Wi-Fi solutions from Cisco or upgrade efficiently to current 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 technology. Progent's CISM and CISSP security specialists can show you how to design security into your wireless network and into your company's operations. Progent's disaster recovery planning consultants and business continuity planning consultants can help you to deploy the high availability features incorporated into Cisco's wired/wireless technologies so your converged network delivers non-stop return on investment.
Progent's Wireless Site Survey assists you to design and deploy a state-of-the-art wireless network customized for your environment, offering a Wi-Fi solution that provides comprehensive coverage, high performance and density, Quality of Service to handle IP voice and video, advanced security, and streamlined management. Progent's Wi-Fi Site Survey can be delivered remotely to reduce time and expense, or onsite to deal with more complex environments.
For a more in-depth discussion of Progent's wireless consulting services, see Progent's Wireless Network Support.
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